The arms are those of Duncan as borne by Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Camperdown (1731-1804).
Naval hero Adam Duncan first went to sea at 15 and was described by Sir Egerton Brydges at 18 years, as 6ft. 4in. "perfectly well proportioned, [and] was considered, with great truth, one of the finest figures in the naval service." Despite distinguishing himself commanding the surrender of Havana in 1761, his career stalled for many years thereafter. Only through his 1777 marriage to Henrietta, daughter of Robert Dundas of Arniston, lord-president of the Court of Session, did he obtain assistance regaining employment of the navy.
In 1795 he was appointed admiral, and commander-in-chief of the North Sea, a position he held until 1801, but it was in 1797 Duncan attained his great distinction, defeating the Dutch in fierce battle at Camperdown. Passing first through enemy lines, Duncan captured or destroyed fifteen ships and took the opposing commander prisoner. For his efforts, Duncan was raised to the peerage, as Baron Duncan of Lundie and Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, although this reward was considered inadequate by many.
Upon Duncan's sudden death of gout in 1804, Nelson wrote to his son: "There is no man who more sincerely laments the heavy loss you have sustained than myself; but the name of Duncan will never be forgot by Britain, and in particular by its navy, in which service the remembrance of your worthy father will, I am sure, grow up in you." (Complete Peerage)
Another Paul deLamerie basket of the same year and nearly identical design, bearing the arms of diamond merchant Henry Isaac, was sold in these Rooms, April 20, 2000, lot 264.